Tuesday, October 21, 2008

PostHeaderIcon Just Desserts: Pumpkin Spice Cake

This week: Pumpkin Spice Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A dark amber)
  • 2 cups confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans


Preheat the oven to 350°F and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour two - 8 inch cake pans.

Cake:
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide the batter in half and then pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and remove the cakes from their pans. Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your food processor (or use a hand mixer) and pulse until smooth. Add the maple syrup and confectioners' sugar and process to combine. Adjust syrup or sugar until you have the right consistency.

Assemble:
Place one of the cake layers, top side down, on a serving plate. Frost with a layer of icing. Place the second cake, top side down, onto the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with chopped nuts, if desired. Refrigerate but bring to room temperature before serving.

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